steenkampskraal rare earth mine

The processing route involves the use of gravity separation and flotation to produce a high-purity concentrate that will contain about 90% (ninety percent) monazite. A concentrate that contains copper, gold and silver will be produced as a by-product during this phase. The monazite concentrate will be chemically cleaned to remove residual apatite and sulphide contamination, after which it will be treated with caustic soda to render the rare earth elements soluble in a dilute acid solution.

The cerium will be removed from the mixed rare earth salts at the mine and will be refined for sale in South Africa. The cerium-depleted mixed rare earth carbonate will be sold to companies that separate the individual rare earth oxides.